A HERO had a real brush with disaster after discovering a fire at Dunfermline Abbey.

Fife Council street cleansing chargehand Darren Donovan had just started his shift at 7am when he noticed flames at the north porch of the historic building.

He rang 999 and, armed with his trusty brush, he tackled the fire with his quick actions preventing what could have turned into a major disaster.

Darren said: "I called the emergency services and then I managed to move the burning materials out from the porch area and put out the fire.

"I’m glad I passed by when I did - it could have been a lot worse.”

Dunfermline Press: Dunfermline Abbey. The fire started in the north porch. Dunfermline Abbey. The fire started in the north porch. (Image: Newsquest)

Two fire appliances attended the scene and made sure the area was safe.

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The fire happened on March 20 and Darren's heroic deeds only came to light when Fife Provost Jim Leishman made a point of praising him at last week's Fife Council meeting.

He said the road sweeper's "quick actions prevented a blaze from spreading in the north porch at Dunfermline Abbey".

A spokesperson for Historic Environment Scotland, which manages Dunfermline Abbey, said: “We’d like to commend Darren for his quick thinking.

"Deliberate damage to a historic site is a heritage crime, it's subject to prosecution and can cause irreversible damage.

"The incident has been reported to the police and we’d encourage anyone with further information to come forward.”